Bujutsu Anti Bullying and Child Safety Program
Bullying is a significant problem within our society. Recently, an Australian study reported that 1 in 4 kids ageted between 8 and 14 years reported being bullied every few weeks or more, with the highest prevalence rates being reported by children in Year 5 (age 10-11 years).
This means that 25% of children admitted to being bullied, not just once but regularly. It is unknown how many more kids were bullied but were not confident enough to report being bullied in the study.
Many parents rightly turn to martial arts when trying to help their children to cope with bullying. However, most parents do not realise the full benefits that their children will receive from martial arts training? Furthermore, they have no idea what to look for in a martial arts school. Many parents blindly join the nearest martial arts school to them in the hope that the school owner knows what he’she is doing.
You can a really good insite into the benefits of your children will receive from martial arts training by reading 24 reason why your child should train martial arts.
A significant problem for parents who are seeking help for their children is that many martial arts schools will tell parents, “Yes, we can help your child who is being bullied at school” and “We have an anti bullying progam that will help”.
The reality is most martial arts schools owners, have no formal training in this area, no real life experience in this area and despite their claims they do not have an anti bullying program. They think that just teaching a child how to kick and punch as well as say, “Stop I don’t like it”, isn’t an anti bullying program. An anti bullying program needs to contain much more than that.
Many parents are being tricked into paying for martial arts lessons by some schools who really have no idea what they are doing.
Bujutsu Martial Arts and Fitness Centre has an established Anti Bullying and Chid Safety Program that I personally developed. The program is run through our Karate for Toddlers, Kids Karate, Kids Muay Thai Kick Boxing and our Kids BJJ programs. Our program gives kids the skills they need to live a successful and happy life.
In terms of my own professional experience, I was a member of the NSW Police Force for 23 years, and held the rank of Detective Superintendent, and performed the role of Local Area Commander. As a police officer, I investigated many forms of bullying and assaults, from cyber bullying, to minor physical assaults, to sexual assaults of children and adults, as well as homicides.
I started training martial arts in 1988. I have helped dozens of children who have been the victim of bullying. I have many success stories, including one child who could not look me in the eyes, let a lone talk to me when he first started training Karate with me. Six years later, that child has developed into a confident teenager who holds a black belt in Karate.
What is Bullying?
Bullying includes acts or verbal comments that could ‘mentally’ hurt or isolate a person. Bullying can also involve negative physical contact. Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behaviour that is intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people.
Some examples of bullying include:
- Spreading malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendo.
- Excluding or isolating someone socially.
- Intimidating a person.
- Physically assaulting or threatening abuse.
- Making jokes that are ‘obviously offensive’ by spoken word or e-mail.
- Intruding on a person’s privacy by pestering, spying or stalking.
- Yelling or using profanity.
- Criticising a person persistently or constantly.
- Belittling a person’s opinions.
In today’s environment bullying does not just happen in the school yard or work environment. Thanks to social media, our children can be bullied 24 hours a day, even whilst they sit in the lounge room or their bedroom.
Effects of Bullying
Bullying can have numerous effects on children including; depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, low self esteem, suicidal thoughts, anger, aggression, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
Within New South Wales, there is criminal legislation that can be used to stop bullying. Some of the relevant legislation includes:
Section 474.17 Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence – Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person uses a carriage service; and
(b) the person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.
Section 61 Common Assault – Crimes Act (NSW) 1900
Whosoever assaults any person, although not occasioning actual bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
Some examples of common assault include, pushing, punching, kicking, throwing an object at a person or spitting on them. It can also include threateing to do these things.
Section 545B Intimidation or annoyance by violence or otherwise – Crimes Act (NSW) 1900
(a) with a view to compel any other person to abstain from doing or to do any act which such other person has a legal right to do or abstain from doing, or
(b) in consequence of such other person having done any act which he had a legal right to do, or of his having abstained from doing any act which he had a legal right to abstain from doing,
wrongfully and without legal authority:
(i) uses violence or intimidation to or toward such other person or his wife, child, or dependant, or does any injury to him or to his wife, child, or dependant, or
(ii) follows such other person about from place to place, or
(iii) hides any tools, clothes, or other property owned or used by such other person, or deprives him of or hinders him in the use thereof, or
(v) follows such other person with two or more other persons in a disorderly manner in or through any street, road, or public place,
is liable, on conviction before the Local Court, to imprisonment for 2 years, or to a fine of 50 penalty units, or both.
(2) In this section:
“Intimidation” means the causing of a reasonable apprehension of injury to a person or to any member of his family or to any of his dependants, or of violence or damage to any person or property, and
“intimidate” has a corresponding meaning.
“Injury” includes any injury to a person in respect of his property, business, occupation, employment, or other source of income, and also includes any actionable wrong of any nature.
Anti Bullying and Child Safety Program
Bujutsu Martial Arts and Fitness Centre does have a formal anti bullying and child safety program that takes a holelistic approach to tackling the problem of bullying.
Our Karate for Toddlers, Kids Karate, Kids Muay Thai Kickboxing and Kids BJJ classes teach children the following:
- What bullying is
- The effects bullying has on people
- It is okay to say no
- To use the phrase stop I don’t like it
- To walk away
- To tell a teacher
- To tell your parents
- To step in when they see a friend being bullied
- We encourage parents to talk to their children about what bullying is and what to do if it happens to them
- We encourage parents to be good role models
- To stay calm and always be polite
- Not to be afraid to defend yourself if you have no choice
- To only ever use the minimal amount of force necessary to save yourself from harm
- To recognise that just because someone is bullying you, you do not have the right to physically harm them
- Not to fall victim to peer pressure and get involved in the bullying of others
- And of course, how to control and restrain people who attack them
- We also teach children simple things like making sure they know mum and dad’s mobile phone number
- Stranger Danger
- What to do if they are being followed home from school
- What to do if they are approached by a stranger
- Fire Safety issues are also covered, such as what to do if your house is on fire, what to do if your clothes catch on fire
Our martial arts programs are based on my many years of experience as a police officer and martial artist. Our program covers so much more than just how to kick and punch.